Hi all, hoping for some general advice/ideas. The general idea is "What type of house should my partner and I acquire or build?" but there are important considerations and factors I will describe below.
He is more handy than I am, though has no experience doing natural building. I'm more an ideas type of person, and a garden nut person. He knows all the tools and I know all the plant and insect species
We have a lot of time to plan, as we won't be actually endeavouring building or acquiring until my son (currently 9.5 years old) is an older teenager. It's very important to me that our home "Fit" my honey and I as a place where we can grow old....our interests, body shapes, and special needs. Speaking of special needs and considerations:
We're both currently in our early 30s. I'm 5'8" and obese. My honey is 6'5" (!!!) and slender. He has Multiple Sclerosis and does not have serious symptoms now, but that could of course change anytime in the future. One thing he does have now is fatigue and loss of sensation in his hands and feet. Spending a year hand-building a cob house all day every day would not be realistic for us based on his energy capabilities.
We would like a dwelling with interior space of 500-600 square feet, with possible additional square feet due to a courtyard or greenhouse. I want a good sized kitchen space for food preservation and general cooking badassery. Ceiling clearance has to be high for my tall honey who does not want to live in a dwelling where he has to hunch over all the time. A sleeping loft is never going to be our sleeping space. Could be possible as a guest space for my kiddo who might come to visit when he's grown up.
We live in moderate, rainy western Oregon. Zone 8, Very little snow in winter, but lots of rain between late October and early May. We're more foothills/small meadow people than big wide valley people. For those of you who know anything about Oregon, we are currently in the Willamette Valley, but would like to be tucked a little closer to the Cascade foothills or the coast range foothills, a bit further away from all the nasty industrial agriculture/herbicide-heavy grass seed industry in the valley.
Sad but true, my honey may someday be in a wheelchair. Could be ten years from now, could be forty years, but it's rather likely in the future.
Lots of natural light inside is important to me. I become depressed in the winter in a gloomy dark house.
So, brilliant people, based on those factors where should we put down our roots someday? Anyone interested in brainstorming with me? Thanks!!
Today is a very exciting time in my life. I am on a wonderful adventure and will never go through this particular experience again.
I've never been to Oregon, so I can't help you brainstorm about location. Sounds like you surely want a single story home with all the handicapped features.....roll in shower, wide doorways, light switches and receptacles at wheelchair level, lower sinks, .....that sort of thing. There's lots of things to consider for handicapped housing. Grab bars. No steps. Flat access into and out of the house and to the driveway.
I hope that your hubby stays functional for many years to come. One of my brothers has MS and is still independent at 60 years of age. A girlfriend with MS is almost 60 and is mostly functional except for occasional problems when she is fatigued. Truthfully, not everybody with MS is that fortunate, but many are nowadays.
It's never too late to start! I retired to homestead on the slopes of Mauna Loa, an active volcano. I relate snippets of my endeavor on my blog : www.kaufarmer.blogspot.com
The Greenhouse of the Future ebook by Francis Gendron